Introducing Our 2020-21 Perry World House Student Fellows

June 17, 2020
By Perry World House

Perry World House has selected 31 undergraduate students for its competitive fellows program for the 2020-21 academic year.

After receiving more than 150 applications, we admitted rising sophomore, junior, and senior students from each of Penn’s four undergraduate schools. Although the students represent a range of majors and concentrations, they share a passion for global affairs.

“Our student fellows are the heart of Perry World House: they are future global policy leaders, they care and think deeply about critical global policy questions, and they represent us in the Penn community,” said Michael Horowitz, Professor of Political Science and Perry World House Interim Director. “By catalyzing their interest in global affairs, Penn—and Perry World House—will help equip these student fellows to make lasting contributions wherever they go and whatever they do.”

Student fellows participate in a weekly seminar and collaborate in small groups on a year-long policy-based research project. They travel to Washington and New York to learn from leaders working on some of the most significant global policy challenges. At the end of each year, Perry World House hosts a conference for them to present their projects to real-world policymakers.

The 2020-21 Perry World House Student Fellows are (A * star denotes a returning fellow):

Frida Aloo,* of Kenya, is a rising senior studying Business Economics & Public Policy, International Studies, and German in the Huntsman Program. Outside of class, Aloo engages volunteers with Civic House and serves as co-founder of the Penn Afro Wellness program, which encourages conversation about mental health among African international students at Penn.

Alexandra Breckenridge is a rising senior in the College of Arts and Sciences, majoring in History and Philosophy, Politics, and Economics. In her home country South Africa, Breckenridge has worked in public interest and human rights law. At Penn, Breckenridge is a Benjamin Franklin Scholar and a member of the Pennsylvania Debate Society.

Archit Dhar* is a rising senior pursuing a Bachelors and Master's Degree in Systems Science Engineering. He is interested in how emerging tech will shape global policy. Dhar is also involved in the Nominations and Elections Committee, Engineering Deans’ Advisory Board, and his fraternity Sigma Alpha Mu.

Guilherme Grupenmacher, a rising junior from Brazil, is majoring in Philosophy, Politics & Economics in the College of Arts and Sciences. He has previously worked at a think-tank in Brazil conducting research about corruption. Grupenmacher’s hobbies include outdoor running, learning new languages, and studying Latin American literature.

George Hollyer* is a rising junior in the School of Engineering and Applied Science studying Materials Science and Engineering. Having been accepted as a research intern at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, he is interested in issues surrounding energy and nuclear proliferation. On campus, Hollyer is a member of the Philomathean Society.

Annie Hsu* is a rising senior from Canada, studying International Relations and History. She has interned at the Council on Foreign Relations and for the Canadian government. Outside of Perry World House, Hsu volunteers with the West Philadelphia Tutoring Project and leads the nonprofit Bridge the Heart, which provides civic engagement programs for young immigrants in Toronto.

Ali Khambati,* a rising junior from Texas, studies Finance and Decision-Making with a minor in Data Science in the Wharton School. He is interested in the effects of technological development on international political dynamics, specifically its role in determining the dynamics between high-gross domestic product nations.

Sarah Ko* is a rising junior studying International Relations and Economics and minoring in French. She works on marketing for The Daily Pennsylvanian and the International Relations Undergraduate Student Association. Interested in global health, Ko is also President of the Student Hospice Organization of Penn.

Rachel Lambert, a rising junior, studies International Relations and the Pre-Med track in the College of Arts and Sciences. She has interned at The Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation and the Brookings Institution. Lambert volunteers with the hospice club and fences for Penn.

Cara Mahoney, a rising senior, is a double major in Hispanic Studies and English, with a Law and Literature concentration. As Vice President of Global Women Empowerment, she is looking forward to researching the development of rights for immigrant and refugee women.

Andrea Makamba, who grew up in Zimbabwe, is a rising senior in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences studying Systems Science & Engineering and minoring in French & Francophone Studies. On campus, she is an active member of Penn Club Tennis, the Society for African Internationals at Penn, and the PennQuest pre-orientation outdoors program.

Harry Markham*, a rising senior from England, is studying Political Science in the College of Arts & Sciences and Business Analytics in Wharton. This year, he plans to research machine learning and its implications for the business world and public policy.

Ben May* is a rising senior in the School of Arts and Sciences majoring in International Relations with a minor in Economics. Previously, he was Co-Chair for the Student Sustainability Association at Penn, Sustainability and Community Impact Committee Director on the Undergraduate Assembly, a member of Penn’s travel Model United Nations team, and a member of Kite and Key. May also leads an international activism-orientated nonprofit called ThinkOcean.

Abenezer Mechale, a native of Ethiopia, is a rising senior. He is studying Business Analytics and Development Economics, and pursuing a minor in psychology. Outside of the classroom, Mechale enjoys reading, photography, music and going on biking trips.

Carlos Montes is a rising sophomore from Puerto Rico studying Political Science, and Russian and Eastern European Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences. He enjoys spending time at La Casa, where he is a work-study student, listening to music, and being with friends.

Gloria Mpundu is a rising junior from Rwanda in the School of Nursing. She is interested in global affairs, foreign languages and exploring new cultures. Mpundu is passionate about health policy and HIV/AIDS research in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Natalie (Natasha) Napolitano is a rising junior in the Nursing and Healthcare Management Program at Penn’s School of Nursing and the Wharton School of Business, where she concentrates in Operations Management and Healthcare Management & Policy. Outside of class, Napolitano is a Resident Assistant in Riepe College House.

Jimena Nestares* is a rising senior majoring in Physics and Astronomy in the College of Arts and Science. A Venezuela native, she is a founding member of the Venezuelan Outreach for Community Empowerment, and Service (VOCES), where she works with student-led healthcare projects for vulnerable Venezuelan communities.

Zuha Noor, a rising sophomore from Pakistan, studies International Relations in the College of Arts and Sciences. In addition to conducting research at Perry World House on border walls and security, she is also on the board of Penn Political Review, and works with the Linguistic Data Consortium.

Chinaza Ruth Okonkwo* majors in History and Philosophy as a rising junior in the College of Arts and Sciences. She is a Benjamin Franklin Scholar and Robeson Cooper Scholar, involved with the Penn History Review, History Honor Society, CAFSA (Coalition Against Fraternity Sexual Assault), and SCUE (Student Committee on Undergraduate Education). Okonkwo is also the founder of The Black Radical Tradition, a digital and physical radical reading collective.

Sam Orloff is a rising senior in the College of Arts and Sciences from Minnesota, studying History and Political Science. He has interned at a Geneva-based non-governmental organization that works with the UN's human rights bodies, and is also currently conducting research for his thesis, which will study the collective memory of anti-fascism in postwar Britain.

Andrew Orner is a rising junior double majoring in Economics and Political Science, with a minor in Hispanic Studies, in the College of Arts and Sciences. He is a Benjamin Franklin Scholar and a member of the Lightweight Rowing Team. In summer 2019, Orner participated in the Penn-In-Madrid Study Abroad Program.

Chonnipha (Jing Jing) Piriyalertsak is a rising sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences, with academic interests in Philosophy Politics & Economics and History. A native of Thailand, she is a contributor to The Pennsylvania Punch Bowl (Penn's first satire magazine) and a Benjamin Franklin Scholar.

Gabriella Rabito studies International Relations in the College of Arts and Sciences with a minor in American Public Policy from the Wharton School and the College. A rising junior, she serves as Business Manager and sings for Dischord A Cappella, volunteers with Penn Leads the Vote, writes for 34th Street Magazine, and dances with Onda Latina.

Vita Raskevicute is a rising sophomore studying Philosophy, Politics, and Economics with a minor in Russian and Eastern European Studies as a rising sophomore in the College of Arts and Science. Born and raised in Lithuania, she is a research assistant at Foreign Policy Research Institute and an active member of Penn Debate Society.

Carisa Shah is from New York City and a rising junior in the Jerome Fisher Program in Management and Technology (M&T) studying Bioengineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and Entrepreneurship at Wharton. She is a research assistant at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, co-chair of the Wharton Dean's Undergraduate Advisory Board, and a member of Kite and Key, Penn’s oldest and largest service organization.

Claire Sliney is a rising senior in the College of Arts and Sciences pursuing a double major in Philosophy Politics & Economics and Gender Sexuality & Women’s Studies. A California native, she co-founded The Pad Project and produced the Oscar-winning documentary Period. End of Sentence.

Sriram Tolety, from Massachusetts, is a rising sophomore majoring in Computer Science, Finance, and Business Economics and Public Policy in the Jerome Fisher Program. Aside from academics, he participates in the Management and Technology (M&T) Innovation Fund and the Penn Electric Racing.

Gabrielle (Gaby) Utomo is a rising senior in the College of Arts and Sciences studying Architecture with a minor in Political Science. Originally from Indonesia, she participates in Penncasila, the Indonesian students association, and Penn Newman Center events.

Josh Weiner, a rising sophomore in the College of Arts and Sciences, is a veteran of the Israeli army. He is a writing tutor with the Marks Family Writing Center and a peer counselor with the Penn Benjamins group.

Kevin Xu is a rising junior in the School of Engineering studying computer science. From California, Xu does journalistic work for The Signal and volunteers with Penn for Youth Debate.